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By 2020, 50% of everyday essential products will be autoreplenished through IoT

by Robert Hetu  |  December 20, 2016  |  Submit a Comment

In recent research titled Predicts 2017: Digital Business Elevates the Customer Experience Well Beyond Current Retail Multichannel Capabilities analyst Mim Burt and I discuss the implications of the Internet of Things (IoT) on replenishment of basic home consumables.

By 2020, 50% of everyday essential household consumable products will be autoreplenished from the “connected home” through the Internet of Things.


Our Findings:

  • By 2020, the global smart home market is set to grow to just under $60 billion, and a family home in a mature, affluent market could contain several hundred “smart” objects.
  • Convenient connected home autoreplenishment solutions for everyday essentials will drive growth in grocery e-commerce.
  • Many brands and retailers are beginning to take part in autoreplenishment initiatives.

Our recommendations for retail CIOs include:

  • Work with business leaders to ensure that IoT-initiated smart home autoreplenishment use cases are looked at in the broader context of the overall business strategy for deployment of the IoT, rather than as a one-off, isolated IoT initiative on autoreplenishment.
  • Advise the business of the many challenges of achieving a smooth smart home autoreplenishment process for consumers. These include dealing with consumer concerns on cybersecurity and data privacy; costs of integration, for example, integration of the consumer mobile app with the retailer’s ordering and fulfillment applications, as well as integration with the “smart hub” controlling all of the consumers’ smart home apps; standards for interoperability of the various IoT devices in the process and deployment of algorithms; and advanced analytics for relevant customer insight.
  • Remind the business to make adequate provision for proper waste management of both the IoT buttons/devices/sensors used to trigger reordering, as well as the disposable product packaging. The business should also be encouraged to move toward enabling refilling rather than disposing of product packaging.


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Category: iot  technology-and-emerging-trends  

Tags: advanced-analytics  algorithms  consumers  ecommerce  iot  multichannel  omni-channel  replenishment  retail  smart-machines  

Robert Hetu
VP, Analyst Retail
7 years at Gartner
29 years IT Industry

Bob Hetu is a Research Director with the Gartner Retail Industry Services team. His responsibilities involve tracking the technology markets and trends impacting the broad-based retail merchandising and planning areas. Mr. Hetu is an expert in the areas of brand, vendor and assortment management, merchandise planning, allocation, and replenishment. Read Full Bio

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